Emergency doctors have some of the most varied and stressful jobs in medicine. They must be able to assess patients quickly, make accurate diagnoses and provide or schedule treatment immediately. In addition, they frequently deal with high-pressure situations and must be able to think on their feet. Those skills are what makes emergency medicine physicians such valuable assets for hospitals. However, they aren’t always paid as much as other physicians.
As of 2022, emergency doctors earn the most in Florida, followed by Arizona and Texas. However, it’s important to note that compensation varies by region and type of hospital. For instance, ER doctors who work at larger academic centers tend to earn more than those in smaller community practices.
Some ER doctors may also be responsible for referring patients to specialists in their field. For example, if someone comes into the ER with multiple fractures from a motorcycle accident, an ER doctor may need to call in orthopedic surgeons to examine and treat the injuries as well as plastic surgeons for facial trauma.
While ER doctors often have a great deal of autonomy and flexibility in their work, they’re not immune to burnout and low job satisfaction. In fact, the number of emergency physicians who report feeling stressed and burnt out has been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an ACEP survey. That could be due to a variety of factors, including increasing reliance on PAs and nurse practitioners, as well as competition from minute clinics and big box stores.